Coconut Cream Pie

It’s getting to be too hot to have the oven on all day, but too early for good, fresh fruit at the grocery store.

So I went looking for something new, which didn’t require much oven time, and didn’t need fruit.  And I found this gorgeous Coconut Cream Tart recipe over at Willow Bird baking.

I don’t have a square tart pan, and I did have a pie crust in the fridge already, so I figured I’d just make it as a pie.  I put the pie crust in my biggest pie pan (9.5 inches), and baked it for 15 minutes.

While it cooled, I made the pastry cream.  I happened to only have two vanilla beans left in the jar, so I used both of them.  When I added the coconut, I thought it needed more, so I added an extra half cup.  I put it in the fridge for half an hour to cool.

Once the pastry cream was cooled, I made the whipped cream.  I didn’t see any reason not to avoid whipping cream twice, so I whipped all the whipping cream with the powdered sugar, then took out enough to cover the top of the pie, and mixed the rest in with the pastry cream.

Then it all got assembled and sprinkled with toasted coconut.

Coconut Cream Pie

When I was done, I had one of the best coconut cream pies I’d ever had.  It’s not as heavy and dense as most coconut cream pies – the coconut milk makes it both lighter and more coconutty.  And it’s not overpoweringly sweet – but if you wanted it even less sweet, you could use unsweetened coconut flakes.

I’m making it again this weekend to take to Mike’s family reunion – except this time I’ll make the crust from scratch!

( see the recipe )